Go back in time with 1940s Day at Cincinnati Museum Center

1940s Day returns Aug. 26 with live music, vintage cars, costume contest and more

CINCINNATI - Glistening chrome. Exuberant trumpets. Pin curls and twirling skirts. The 1940s are alive and flourishing at Cincinnati Museum Center’s 1940s Day. The annual event returns Saturday, August 26 at historic Union Terminal and its frozen-in-time architecture.

Inside and outside the historic station, the event immerses you in a celebration of the music, fashion, vehicles and people who shaped the pivotal era. 1940s Day will include live big band music, dancing, a classic car show, costume contest and more. Partners from the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center will also be participating, offering perspective on a dark moment in humanity’s history and stories of hope, resilience and revival. 1940s day cars

For a building that played such an active role in the decade, 1940s Day is like a homecoming for the Art Deco icon. Union Terminal buzzed with activity as World War II necessitated even greater traffic through the train station. During the war, over three million American troops traveled through the station, nearly a fifth of the nation’s soldiers who served. To offer troops traveling from across the country a bit of rest and the comforts of home, the nation’s first USO Troops-in-Transit lounged opened in Union Terminal in the space that is now the Rookwood Ice Cream Parlor. The lounge offered service to all troops, regardless of race, at a time when much of the country was still segregated. And, troops not only shipped off through Union Terminal, many also returned there to joyful reunions, including Holocaust survivors who began their new lives in Cincinnati.

“Union Terminal was built and opened in the 1930s but it really shined in the 1940s,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president & CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “Our annual 1940s Day event is an opportunity to relive those moments and those memories ingrained in these walls, to learn about this moment in history in a vibrant way and to enjoy a bit of Union Terminal’s younger days.”

As CMC continues planning for the event, they are looking for 1940s musicians, vintage car owners, vendors and demonstrators to participate. Anyone interested can email Gwen Elliott at for details and opportunities.

1940s Day activities are included with Museum Admission and free for CMC Members. Visit as more information is added to the event.


About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized, award-winning institution housed in a National Historic Landmark. CMC is a vital community resource that sparks curiosity, inspiration, epiphany and dialogue. CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012, one of a select few museums in the nation to receive both honors. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Children’s Museum, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, Cincinnati History Library and Archives and the Geier Collections and Research Center. Housed in historic Union Terminal – a National Historic Landmark restored in 2018 and recognized as the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects – CMC welcomes more than 1.8 million visits annually, making it one of the most visited museums in the country. For more information, visit